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Local Teen Program Director to Receive Hope Recognition Award

Dr. Jennifer Freed is being honored in particular for her development of an original curriculum on character and compassion

Dr. Jennifer Freed, co-founder and co-director of AHA! (the Academy of Healing Arts for Teens) in Santa Barbara, will receive the Hope Recognition Award presented by Sierra Tucson on June 17 at a breakfast ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

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Dr. Jennifer Freed

It will be the second year that Sierra Tucson, an internationally renowned, accredited treatment center and a dually licensed psychiatric hospital, has held this annual event in Los Angeles, as well as other regions in the country. The purpose is to give recognition to individuals and organizations in the addictions and mental health fields for their positive impact on the community.

The Hope Recognition Award honors someone who has contributed to prevention and education in the field of addictions and/or mental health.

As co-founder/co-director of AHA!, a character education program that develops emotional intelligence, stokes creative expression, and builds the social conscience of teenagers, Freed has helped thousands of Santa Barbara County adolescents. Now in its 10th year, AHA! serves 300 teens annually through in-school, after-school and intensive summer programs.

Freed is being honored in particular for her development of an original curriculum on character and compassion that has helped at least one high school reduce its suspension and disciplinary rates by 52 percent.

Freed’s emotional intelligence curriculum is available in a series of workbooks for teens, called “Become your Best Self.” Titles in the series include Character, Compassion, Creative Expression and Sexual Wisdom. The workbooks are available from InDepthPress.

Click here for more information about AHA! or call the Family Therapy Institute at 805.882.2400 x 108.

— Leslee Goodman is a publicist.

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